Two recipients named as Hub Award winners - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Two recipients named as Hub Award winners

Hub Award Winners for 2016. Source: City of Hattiesburg Hub Award Winners for 2016. Source: City of Hattiesburg
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

This is a news release from The City of Hattiesburg 

The Hub Award for 2016 has honored two of Hattiesburg’s outstanding professionals and community leaders.  Jan Lacy and Rick Taylor were honored with the prestigious Hub Award during a gala dinner and stirring program at the Lake Terrace Convention Center on November15.  Both Ms. Lacy and Mr. Taylor where honored for their outstanding contributions to the community, commitment to excellence, and dedication to public service.

The master of ceremonies for the evening was Mr. Richard Wayne McKenzie, a 1990 recipient of the Hub Award.  The welcome was given by Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas, a 1985 recipient of the Hub Award.  The invocation was given by The Honorable Johnny Williams, a 2012 recipient of the Hub Award.  Following dinner, Mrs. Lou Ann Poynter, a 2009 recipient of the Hub Award, recognized the past recipients.

The tribute to Jan Lacy was given by Dr. Joe Paul. Jan Lacy responded.  The tribute to Rick Taylor was given by Mr. Larry Albert.  Mr. Taylor responded.

Hub Awards were presented to the recipients by Mr. Larry A. Albert.

Hub Award Leadership Scholarships were presented to two students.  Southern Miss President Rodney Bennett presented the scholarship to Southern Miss student Caroline Susannah Bradley.  Dr. Tommy King, President of William Carey University, presented the scholarship to William Carey University student Angelo Morales.  Theresa Erickson, Executive Director of the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation, presented the scholarship awards.

The Hub Award originated in 1979 when a group of community leaders honored Bobby Lee Chain, who was at the time serving as president of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.  Bobby L. Chain Day was planned in recognition of Mr. Chain’s outstanding contributions to the community, commitment to excellence, and dedication to public service.

An important part of the annual Hub Award event is the support of the Hub Award Endowment at the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation to benefit students attending The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University.   From its origin in 1979 the Hub Award has generated scholarship funds totaling over a half million dollars. 

This initial event evoked awareness that Hattiesburg has the distinction of having many outstanding citizens whose achievements and contributions should be recognized and that it would be appropriate and desirable to honor such person or persons each year.  Thus, the Hub Award had its origin. The Convener for the Hub Award Committee is Mr. Larry Albert. The Secretary is Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas.

Jan Lacy

When it comes to community service in the Hattiesburg area over the past 34 years, the name Jan Lacy has got to come to mind. She and her husband, Terry, moved from Jackson, Mississippi to Hattiesburg in 1982 to open Copy Cats Printing. They have grown a Mom and Pop printing business into one of the leading full-color printing and graphic design businesses in the Gulf south. In addition to managing a very successful printing business, Jan has left her mark throughout the area. To read her resume of community service, one can see the history of the area deliberately, slowly forming and developing.

Leadership Pinebelt (formerly called Leaders For a New Century) holds a very special place in Jan’s heart. She cherishes the friendships formed through the years which may have never have happened if it wasn’t for this awesome program, which has helped nurture and develop hundreds of future leaders for the Hattiesburg area.

The creation of Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity, one of Jan’s proudest activities, had its beginning in a ‘leaders’ class. Habitat, an agency of the United Way of Southeast Mississippi, is still in existence today, and has built more than 65 homes. The Hattiesburg Habitat Chapter was formed by Jan and four other members of the 1989 Leaders For A New Century Class.

Her involvements in the Area Department Partnership and the United Way of Southeast Mississippi are legendary, and have helped make their history compelling and their future bright.

This same activity and involvement weaves through the Hattiesburg Country Club, which began as her pleasure. It quickly became another area of her life where she wanted to make the organization not only the best for members, but for future members as well.

Jan takes great personal pleasure in her involvement earlier this year in the “Inaugural Laughs 4 Life Comedic Fundraiser.” This activity benefitted the International Myeloma Foundation and the Forrest General Cancer Center. This event was the brainchild of Kent Oliver, who was diagnosed in late 2015 with a much progressed form of Multiple Myeloma. Kent used his diagnosis of this incurable type of cancer as a catalyst to help others, and the goal of this event was to bring awareness and support to those fighting the ever ongoing battle that is cancer. Jan speaks with pleasure of having had the privilege of being involved and helping with this event from its inception. With just three short months of planning, this event had almost 1,000 people in attendance and generated nearly $124,000 profit for these two beneficiaries.

Jan’s community involvement also includes an assortment of offices, leadership positions, and participation in:  Sales and Marketing Professionals – Pine Belt (formerly Sales and Marketing Executives International); Salvation Army; USM Research Foundation; USM Foundation; Hattiesburg Area Women’s Forum; Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association; Hattiesburg Cable Advisory Board; Metro Crime Stoppers; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississippi; Gayfer’s Career Club; The Family Y; American Red Cross; Forrest County Development Foundation and Hattiesburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

Her hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed. She has been awarded and recognized on a variety of fronts, including:  Chair’s Award of Excellence from Area Development Partnership, Service Award from Area Development Partnership, Grand Marshal of 20th Annual Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo, Hattiesburg Area Women’s Forum Woman of Achievement Award, United Way of Southeast Mississippi’s President’s Choice – Spirit of United Way Award, Service Provider of the Year awarded from Merchants Foodservice, Paul Harris Fellow Award presented from Rotary Club of Hattiesburg, Executive of the Year Award presented from Sales and Marketing Executives International – Hattiesburg, “Top 40 Under 40”Award for State of Mississippi from Mississippi Business Journal, Blue Chip Enterprise Award Winner for Copy Cats Printing – National Award (first Hattiesburg business to receive award), William Carey College Small Business Leadership Award, Outstanding Board Member Award from Area Development Partnership (then called Hattiesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Hattiesburg’s Outstanding Young Mississippian presented by Hattiesburg Jaycees, Inaugural Class Leaders for a New Century, Outstanding Committee Chair Award from Area Development Partnership (then called Hattiesburg Area Chamber of Commerce), and Waldoff’s Woman Achiever of the Year.

Jan also made time to serve with other area groups including:  Hattiesburg American Editorial Board, Community Member; Mississippi Women’s Golf Association as Treasurer, Board Member and State Amateur Championship Chair; Mayor’s Crime Task Force and Member of Leadership Pinebelt Alumni Group.

Jan and Terry have one child, Crystal, and one grandchild, Sadie.

In Her Own Words…

“I have been asked, ‘Why do I spend so much time in volunteer roles?’ My response has always been twofold:  First, Hattiesburg has been very good to Terry and myself with our business, and thus, I want to give back to the community. Second:  It’s the people. I have met so many great people through the years that have taught me so much and I am proud – and honored – to have them as friends.”

Richard “Rick” Taylor

Richard “Rick” Taylor is the Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission and the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission, and operates a convention center, a performing arts theater, two museums, a visitors’ center and a zoo.  In addition, he oversees the operations of VisitHattiesburg which leads Hattiesburg’s $268 million tourism industry.  He began his 28-year career in the tourism industry with a five-year stint in tourism development in the British, Dutch and French West Indies before returning home to Hattiesburg in 1993.

His work to increase local tourism began with a campaign to bring Olympic teams to Hattiesburg prior to the 1996 Atlanta Games.  The program, in partnership with USM and a wide range of community volunteers, resulted in the hosting of three Olympic teams (Slovakia, Malawi and Kenya) in the months leading up to the Olympics.  In addition to visitors from all over the state, worldwide publicity from Hattiesburg’s efforts garnered the Tourism Commission the nation’s top public relations honor, the Edward L. Bernays Award in 1997.  The first time in the 41-year history of the award for a tourism agency to receive the top honor.

The 1990’s culminated with the opening of the Lake Terrace Convention Center in July of 1998.  Quickly becoming a statewide favorite, the Convention Center, now in its 18th year, continues to be an industry leader in the Southeast United States and has been recognized 11 times as “Best of the Best” Meeting Facility by ConventionSouth magazine.

The 2000’s were a time of significant tourism infrastructure development, beginning with the $4 million renovation of the Historic Saenger Theater.  The Theater now serves as a performing arts venue for regional theater, as well as hosting notables Aaron Lewis, The Pointer Sisters, Madeline Albright, Charlie Pride, the Glen Miller Orchestra and Robert Gates, among others.

In 2004, the Convention Commission and the Tourism Commission partnered to construct and operate the Hattiesburg Visitors Center at the Hwy 49/I-59 interchange.  This facility serves as a gateway for visitors to Hattiesburg and provides a one-stop location for restaurant, shopping, attractions and hotel information.  In this same year, the VisitHattiesburg was recognized, along with Las Vegas, for the best visitor brand identity campaign worldwide by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association, International.

2009 saw the completion of a $2 million renovation of the Historic USO Club and the installation of the African American Military History Museum.  The Museum is the only remaining building of its type left from WWII, and has been recognized nationally and regularly hosts academic and military scholars, as well as school groups and visitors.  2009 was also the beginning of the historic re-development of the Eureka School into a museum, which is now in its final phase.

In 2010, the Commissions began to operate the Hattiesburg Zoo under an agreement with the City of Hattiesburg.  Significant operational and infrastructural developments ensued including a splash park, quarantine and animal hospital, petting zoo, concession stand, high ropes adventure course and new animal habitats, rapidly expanding the Zoo’s attendance and drawing visitors from outside the Pine Belt and the State.

Rick is a strong believer that unique and compelling experiences create customers for life, and he implements this concept at each facility he operates.  He is an advocate for motivated professionals to incorporate quality and creativity into every aspect of their career and responsibilities.

Rick is a recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Tourism Achievement, 2009 USM Margaret McCarthy Award for Tourism Partner of the Year, the 1996 winner of the international Edward L. Bernays Tourism Public Relations Award, and a 2006 inductee into the Mississippi Tourism Hall of Fame.  He is a past President of the Mississippi Tourism Association and sits on the Advisory Board of USM’s Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management.

In September of this year, Rick received the Beacon Leadership Award from the Southeast Tourism Society which represents 12 southern states.  The  Beacon Award criteria considers accomplishments, innovation, performance, integrity and respect in recognizing the individual who best exemplifies outstanding leadership in the pursuit of excellence and who has significantly advanced the tourism industry over many years.

Rick has a master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a graduate of the Public Assembly Facility Management School in Dallas, Texas.  He and his wife, Vicki, are the thoroughly exhausted parents of two boys, Skye and Archer.

 Previous recipients of this prestigious award, in alphabetical order are: Larry A. Albert, 2005; James L. Bean, 1999; Jeffrey J. Bower, 2001; Charles Brown, 2015; Benjamin Macklin Carmichael, 1986; James Lynn Cartlidge, 1997; Bobby Lee Chain, 1979; Richard Harry Clark, Jr., 1984; Bobby Collins, 1996; Jay Dean, 2013; Joseph Dwight Dyess, 2003; Wiley Fairchild, 1982; Charles Finnegan, 2008, C.D. “Red” Galey, 2009; Edythe Evelyn Gandy, 2008; George Robert Hall, 1987; Warren A. Hood 2012; Gwen James, 2013; Dr. Tommy King, 2010; Larry W. Kennedy, 2004;  Bernice Linton, 2015; Aubrey Keith Lucas, 1985; William David McCain, 1988; Richard Wayne McKenzie, 1990; Paul Wilson McMullan, 1981; Bob E. Mixon, 1994; Frank D. Montague, Jr. 1995; J. Ralph Noonkester, 1983; Edwin Lloyd Pittman, 1989; Moran McLelland Pope, Jr., 2000; Lou Ann Poynter, 2009; Thomas Franklin Puckett, 1993; Bill Ray 2011; Marvin Reuben, 1992; Martha Saunders, 2010; Ray A. Sims, Sr. 2006; Frederick E. Tatum, 1998; Shelby Freland Thames, 2002; Tommy Thornton, 2014; Lawrence W. Warren, 2014; Percy Watson, 2011; Ralph Thomas Wicker, 1991;  Johnny Williams, 2012, Lowery Anderson Woodall, 1980; Bennett V. York, 2007.

Copyright WDAM 2016. All rights reserved. 

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